SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Students and faculty at Southwood High School are learning skills they can take into their communities with a community garden.

It’s been in the works for two years, and students are already seeing the fruits – and vegetables – of their labors.

“They’re more enthused and hardworking, and they just want to see this area grow. Especially the mural. They love the mural. So, to see their hard work producing and see how great the area is coming about is a very positive thing, “said Garden Club Sponsor Kronski Grigsby.

Students who may not have classes together get to work as a team in the garden.

“That social aspect is very important. They also have to have life skills and so it’s important. We have a master gardener that helps us,“ said Southwood High School Principal Kim Pendleton.

For some students, the garden has become a part of their curriculum in which they monitor the growth of the produce. Some students study how the plants are growing and what affects the growth.

Strawberries, squash, tomatoes, herbs, and more are grown in the Southwood High School garden. Students also learn how to prepare meals with the foods they grow.

“What a wonderful opportunity for us to use it in so many different ways. Learning about how measurement, the weather conditions, and how the whole process of photosynthesis works,“ Pendleton said.

Not only is it a fun activity, but the garden and mural offer students hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering, arts, and even math.

“Being in class cooped up all day is not something you want to do. So, being able to come out here and just get some fresh air or something like that while doing a fun activity, it’s not that bad. It’s kind of refreshing,“ said Freshman Autumn Jamison.

About 40 to 50 kids are involved in the garden club, from painting the mural and maintaining the garden, they are learning skills they can take into their communities.

The Garden Club at Southwood High School is always accepting donations to keep this program going.
All donations will go towards buying materials needed for the garden and murals. Those who wish to donate can reach out to Southwood High School at 318-686-9512.